The US delegation, led by Susan M. Schnall, a coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC), consists of medical and chemical researchers and public health experts, some of whom have written articles analyzing the harmful effects of chemicals, including Agent Orange (AO).
Mrs Schnall, who is also a Vietnam war veteran, actively participated in the anti-war movement during the US-Vietnam war.
The group of scientists recently coordinated with US congressmen to draft a bill in the interest of Vietnamese AO/Dioxin victims and calling on all Americans to support them.
In his speech, VAVA Vice Chairman and General Secretary Tran Xuan Thu praised the positive contributions made by the group and APHA to help Vietnamese AO/Dixon victims, saying that he hopes US scientists will continue to provide material and spiritual support for VAVA’s struggle for justice.
According to a scientific report by the VAVA, Vietnam had the highest level of dioxin contamination in the world during the US war. The concentration of dioxin has reduced considerably over time and due to the humid tropical climate, however, three hot spots where the US army had arms depots, namely Bien Hoa airport in Dong Nai, Phu Cat airport in Binh Dinh and Danang airport, still have high concentrations of dioxin.
The Vietnamese Government is neutralizing the poison in Bien Hoa by sealing 100,000 cubic meters polluted soil in the ground at a total cost of US$5 million.
US$43 million has also been spent on cleaning up dioxin contaminated land at Danang airport. Work is also being done at the Phu Cat airport, with help from the UN.
Professor.Dr. Nguyen Van Nguyen, former Director of the Military Medical Academy, said Japanese scientists have discovered a medical product that can reduce 20-40 percent of the dioxin in victims’ bodies. Vietnam currently has detoxification centres for dioxin victims that treat them through exercises and herbal remedies.
After visiting Hanoi, the US delegation will work with the Ministry of Health and VAVA chapters in Danang, HCM City, Thua Thien Hue and visit some places of interest in Vietnam.